Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Deryni Knights

The Deryni, as described by Katherine Kurtz in her books, were often blonde or red-headed with fair skin. They also had light, luminous eyes, sometimes in unusual colors like gold or violet. In a way, they were somewhat like elves, though without the pointed ears. As a reader, I wondered whether they might have had an alien origin, though author Kurtz never explained how they came to be. They were close enough to mainstream humans to intermarry and have children with humans, and the half-breeds could inherit Deryni psychic powers. There's a lot about that in the books. Half-Deryni looked more like ordinary humans, with darker hair and skin; in one of the books there is even a Black Deryni from North Africa, who evidently was the result of a Deryni adventurer mingling with a native.

These are "pure" Deryni, youths and older men in a knightly religious order called the "Michaelines." The real-world order I belong to is also called the "Michaelines" or "Order of St. Michael," and it was inspired originally by the fictional order of Katherine K's books. The real-world Michaelines carefully explain, though, that it is not a Deryni fan organization, but an ecumenical Christian prayer and fellowship group. Nevertheless, imagination plays a major role in our spirituality.

I painted this one in gouache (opaque watercolor) a medium I was experimenting with at the time. I later switched to acrylic, as gouache was fragile and fadeable. This was painted in fall of 1982, gouache on illustration board, 7" x 11".

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